What started out as a rumor quickly became a reality yesterday when a scanned image from Famitsu magazine hit the net, revealing a large attachment for the Nintendo 3DS handheld which would add a second circle pad to the console. The added input would allow the 3DS in theory, to compete better with the Vita which comes stock with two control sticks, allowing it to work as an official controller for PS3 consoles as well.

Why Nintendo released the device without two circle pads built in makes one scratch and/or hit their head, but now they have confirmed that this device is real and that each region will receive more details on it in the near future.

Nintendo sent the official reply to Kotaku, verifying the peripheral:

“We can confirm that Nintendo plans to release the Circle Pad attachment, but Nintendo’s regional subsidiaries will make further announcements about its availability at a later date.”

While it’s good that Nintendo has finally realized that many modern games need two sticks, they’re really behind the ball and are showing a lack of planning and questionable decision making. The 3DS unit has racked up a long list of negatives as of late, beginning with a launch which saw critics complaining of its price, 3D gimmick and lack of games and this resulted in the fasted price drop for a Nintendo platform ever, with the manufacturer reducing the price by a whopping $80 in preparation for the holiday season.

With the timing of this news, we have to ask if this price drop was in preparation of launching this add-on, a piece of hardware players will have to purchase to play some of the upcoming games, including Monster Hunter 3G. If required for upcoming games, this hardware will create a divide between players and further punishes early adopters of the console who didn’t get the full package.

Again, it’s better to hold off on the unit until an upgraded model (3DS lite?) is released with all of its features and hardware properly inputted.  Just look how bulky this thing is, enveloping the entire handheld just to add one inexplicably missing circle pad.

The bigger issues her are how Nintendo seemingly rushed this console and aren’t getting the promised 3rd party support. The biggest games of notes have mostly been remakes (Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 3D), and now the 3DS price drop followed by a potentially required add-on… day-one buyers will really be feeling the sting and we hope Nintendo offers some sort of deal for them, not unlike the 20 free games for the Ambassadors, those who purchased the unit before the price drop.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Kotaku

tags: 3DS, Nintendo